Russell Dale Peterson “Dale” age 85 of Isanti passed away peacefully at Our Lady of Peace Home in St. Paul on October 16, 2019.
Dale was born October 23, 1933 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Russell and Naomi (Jernell) Peterson. He was the second of three boys. While there were age differences, the three brothers were inseparable throughout their lives. Dr. Donald Gordon Peterson was 9 years older than Dale and Gordon Warren Peterson was 5 years younger. Joining the lively escapades of these boys was their first cousin, Archie Thomas, who quickly became the “fourth” brother of the crew as Archie and his family lived in the duplex above the Peterson family. As the middle child, Dale adeptly learned how to negotiate squabbles, understand the meaning of compassion and kindness, as well as loyalty. At an early age, the value of working hard and endless ingenuity was gleaned from his parents and grandparents—Dale could fix anything.
Dale met the love of his life, Elizabeth (Johnson) Peterson “Betty,” on a blind date. It was love at first sight and this endearing love lasted throughout their marriage of 60 years. Dale and Betty were married on August 20, 1955 and moved to Kansas City, Kansas where Dale began his teaching career in industrial arts. They started their family in 1956 with the birth of Steven followed by Mark and Mary, and lived on the East Side of St. Paul. It was there in St. Paul that Dale began his long teaching career with the St. Paul School District.
Adventures such as biking, camping, canoeing, and travel were an important part of family life. Memorable trips to places like Sweden, Norway, Morocco, Italy, New York World’s Fair, Pike’s Peak, the Upper Peninsula, and Kansas provided opportunities to meet old friends and family, and make new friends that lasted his lifetime. Dale and Betty led many groups of high school students on Boundary Water retreats. Forever the teacher, Dale taught hundreds through Bible study, youth groups, his junior high and high school classes, and later on in life taught us all how to live generously and compassionately as he cared for his beloved wife, Betty. Later, he continued to facilitate the Parkinson’s support group through summer 2019.
Dale is survived by his children Steven (Debbykay), Mark (Jill), and Mary Haivala. His grandchildren are Rebekah Peterson (Mitch Thompson), Nick (Melissa) Myette, Tim Myette, David Peterson, Jacob Stoner, Emily Peterson, Abbie Peterson, Joseph Haivala, and Naomi Haivala. Great grandfather to Emory Thompson, Hallie Harris, Linnea Thompson, and Rowen Loechler. Many cherished family and friends.
Dale’s kind and generous spirit will be greatly missed. Thank you for remembering his life with us. Please join us in celebrating Dale’s life with a little Swedish supper in the Reception Hall following the remembrance service.
Memorial Service 3PM, Saturday, October 26, 2019 at Oxlip Evangelical Free Church. Interment Long Lake Community Cemetery.
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